Chatelaine book club: January's best books

Our editors pick six books for your bedside table this month

The Quality of Mercy, book, book club

The Quality of Mercy

The Winter Palace, book, book club

The Winter Palace

The Last Nude, book, book club

The Last Nude

A Walk Across the Sun, book, book club

A Walk Across the Sun

Quiet, book, book club


Death Comes to Pemberlet, book, book club

Death Comes to Pemberlet

woman reading book on stairs


1. Death Comes to Pemberley, P.D. James, $32.
The grande dame of crime fiction , P.D. James, has just released her 19th novel, a mystery called Death Comes to Pemberley, inspired by Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice. Set six years after Elizabeth and Darcy tie the knot, the book starts as Elizabeth’s sister Lydia pulls up to the Darcy residence in a carriage screaming bloody murder. But who is dead? Wickham, as Lydia believes, or his friend Denny? Darcy sets off to investigate and what unfolds is classic James within the Austen milieu. Our main quibble: not enough Elizabeth and Darcy action! — Laurie Grassi

2. Quiet, Susan Cain, $28.
Shhh . . . , argues this new book, which theorizes that North America’s loud-louderloudest culture is detrimental to everyone, but especially to “high-reactive” adults and shy kids. Includes practical real-life tips for introverts stuck in an extrovert’s world, such as the secrets to public speaking. — Vanessa Milne

3. A Walk Across the Sun, Corban Addison, $23.
Two orphaned teenage sisters are swept into the sex trade after a tsunami hits their Indian town. Across the ocean, an American lawyer takes a sabbatical after suffering a devastating loss. Soon the lives of the three collide in this gripping novel about human trafficking. — Grace Toby

4. The Last Nude, Ellis Avery, $28.
When Rafaela, a young New Yorker all alone in Paris, is recruited to pose for famous art deco painter Tamara de Lempicka, an affair quickly follows. As rich and fleshy as de Lempicka’s iconic portraits, this love story is an evocative blend of history and fiction: Think a much sexier Midnight in Paris! — Madeline Cravit

5. The Winter Palace, Eva Stachniak, $25.
A gripping tale of Catherine the Great’s rise to power as empress of Russia. This story of deceit, manipulation and secret love affairs is told via a fictional servant and spy, Varvara, whose ambitions threaten her position at the royal court, a place where nothing is as it seems. — Janet Ho

6. The Quality of Mercy, Barry Unsworth, $29.
This sequel to Sacred Hunger follows several men during the Industrial Revolution — capitalist, fugitive, miner, slave, aristocrat. As each tries to escape his position, their paths cross and destinies are altered. — Maggie Ma